Wipes can block sewerage

Do not flush: Blockages caused by bathroom products have been a big issue for water utilities and their customers across Australia for several years.
Do not flush: Blockages caused by bathroom products have been a big issue for water utilities and their customers across Australia for several years.

Court action has been taken to stop claims that wipes are flushable.

The ACCC announced last month that it “has completed its investigation into ALDI’s ‘flushable’ wipes products and will take no further action after ALDI stopped selling its personal hygiene wipes and removed potentially misleading claims from its bathroom cleaning wipes packaging.”

However the organisation still has separate proceedings against each of Pental and Kimberly-Clark Australia currently before the Federal Court in which the ACCC alleges that misleading ‘flushable’ claims were made.

One of the ACCC allegations in these proceedings is that the wipes products are not flushable as they do not disintegrate like toilet paper when flushed.

Peter Hadfield at Sydney Water said Sydney Water’s award winning campaign to ‘keep wipes out of pipes’ has sparked a broader conversation about what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. 

“Blockages caused by bathroom products has been a big issue for water utilities and their customers across Australia for several years.

“It’s costing the community millions of dollars every year to deal with the issues that these products cause in the wastewater system and the resulting environmental impacts they can create.

“We now call on the rest of the wipes manufacturing and retail industry to quickly follow this position and ‘withdraw from sale ‘flushable’ branded wipes and to include prominent ‘do not flush’ messaging on the packaging of their bathroom products,” Mr Hadfield said.

The international water industry has collectively committed to a position statement that all wipes and personal hygiene products should be clearly marked as “Do Not Flush” and be disposed of in the bin or trashcan.

“This position statement is supported by over 300 utilities and non-government organisations from 23 countries.

Hadfield said that Sydney Water is constantly looking at how to better educate the community on what should and should not go down toilets and drains and we support any moves by manufacturers that help in this area. 

“The inclusion of a ‘do not flush’ message on the packaging will assist customers seeking to use and dispose of bathroom products appropriately.

“This will also assist our customers who ultimately pick up the cost of extra maintenance and repair bills caused by the inappropriate flushing of bathroom products,” Mr Hadfield said.

“In the meantime, remember the three Ps – the only things that you should flush down your toilet are pee, poo and (toilet) paper.”

This story Wipes can block sewerage first appeared on Rouse Hill Courier.